Heart of the South West Chief Executive welcomes Prime Ministerial commitment to grow tourism

VisitEngland Chief Executive, James Berresford and Heart of the South West LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia, today welcomed the Prime Minister’s visit to Cornwall to announce a five point plan to support tourism growth across the UK.

Chris Garcia was representing the six south west LEPs: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP, Dorset LEP, Gloucestershire LEP, Heart of the South West LEP, West of England LEP and Wiltshire LEP; in his role on the South West Tourism Programme Board. He said: “We welcome investment in tourism initiatives to attract more overseas visitors to the south west; and the five point plan for improvement in collaboration, skills & jobs, regulation, transport and welcome initiatives will bring added value across the region.”

VisitEngland’s Chief Executive James Berresford said: “The commitment by the Prime Minister today to grow tourism across the UK is further recognition of the enormous value and contribution of this industry, one of the decade’s biggest drivers of economic growth. Placing tourism at the heart of Government will do much to support plans to rebalance the economy. We will work closely with the new inter-ministerial group and our partners across the country to deliver on these commitments and drive growth across the regions by showcasing and developing the standout product on offer in this country to key domestic and international markets, improving connectivity, ensuring England remains globally competitive and providing world-class experiences for all visitors.”

“We have invested £57m of Government funds in English tourism over the past five years which has to date generated over £1.5 billion growth in visitor spending and created over 28,000 jobs. We aim to build on this success with both the Northern and South West Tourism Growth Funds, and the proposed Product Development Fund recommended in the Triennial Review of VisitEngland.”

As part of a £5m South West Tourism Growth Fund announced by Government, a range of activity will take place to grow tourism; deliver economic growth and boost export earnings in the South West of England.

James Berresford continued: “Our ambition for the South West Tourism Growth Fund is to work closely with VisitBritain and partner destinations to create an additional visitor spend of £60m, supporting the creation of 1,000 jobs to boost the South West visitor economy.”